The West Jaintia Hills administration has imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC to fight rampant smuggling, following suit from East Jaintia Hills, which passed similar orders a few days ago.
The order covers movement of people along the international border with Bangladesh to deter those with the intention to cross over into or from the neighbouring country, those with the intention to commit illegal activities like smuggling of cattle and other goods.
People are banned from moving on foot or in vehicles in public under 5km from the “border belt” from 6pm to 5am.
Haats, bazaars and shops within 1km of the Indo-Bangla border are not permitted to open between 8pm and 6am.
The order also bans unlawful assembly or unauthorised processions involving five or more persons and carrying arms or other instruments that can be used as weapon, including sticks and stones, in and around the 5km zone.
West Jaintia Hills District Magistrate BS Sohliya stated that the Border Security Force (BSF) is mandated to prevent trans-border crime, including smuggling, and any other illegal activities on the Indo-Bangladesh border. The DM was informed by the BSF that the border in WJH, which is unfenced, is highly prone to smuggling of cattle and other items, such as betel nut, dry fish, biri, cigarettes, chai/patti, drugs, etc.